Monday, March 26, 2012

Taking Care of Elderly Parents

My Mom this time last year holding tiny Patrick.

Sorry I haven't done a blogpost in a longer than usual time period.  It has been my turn to be the "parent" to my precious mother.  She had a fall last week that was pretty bad and was admitted for observation and tests.  She's been in the hospital 5 days now due to just not being "stable".  It's been hard and it's been pretty busy.  I'm the only child she has here in town and so I feel ultra responsible, even though I really wouldn't have it any other way.  She has some medical conditions they are trying to resolve while she is admitted and they are changing her meds and taking her off a bunch, which I think is really good.  The hardest part for me is realizing that even though she is an emotional support to me and such an encourager, I take care of her now, instead of her taking care of me.  I know this is a stage we all will go through with our parents, but it's still hard.  She seems so much like a child to me right now.  Being in the hospital has made her really confused at times, which I've never seen before.  But I'm so glad my children get to help take care of her and cheer her up.  It's so good for children I think to help care for their grandparents, be around them, love them and serve them.  I think it's how God intended it to be.  Yes, it may be hard at times but it causes us all to grow and it's REAL LIFE.......babies and the elderly and everything in between.  God loves all life, each stage no matter how hard is for a reason and is actually short lived in the scheme of things.  So anyway, pray for my mom and please send any advise....I could use it :)


  1. Oh gosh so sorry. I am saying a prayer for your precious mom right now. What a wonderful daughter you are. It is nice you are close to help, My only advice is spend as much time with her as possible and cherish every minute. My Papaw (the only dad I had) died a few years ago. All I could think was I just want more time. Hugs to you sweet mamma. You and your mom will be in my prayers.

  2. Praying for you and your family during this diffficult time.Your Mom is so blessed to have you taking care of her.

  3. My neighbor/friend went through this same thing last year w/ her mom. Mom was starting to show early signs of Alzheimers. They moved her in with them--large family also(9 kids). It was a transition for sure but it's working out really well. The older kids help care for her and it's great homeschooling--practice for the medical field! This might not be for you at all--but I just wanted to pass on their little story :)

  4. Its not an easy time as our parents age--Your mother looks like a delightful lady and hopefully her confusion is due to being put to bed in a strange environment. That is pretty common with older people. I hope you can find a new norm in planning and caring for her that meets her needs without taking too much from your own family life. Blessings as you sort through all of this. Do keep us updated about how she is doing.

    As my Mom became more frail, our doctor told us not to become her caregiver, but to remain her daughters and friend. Thankfully she was able to remain in her home with a wonderful lady who worked full time, but was there at night for companionship and safety. We hired a darling young lady who came four hours each day to do her exercises, and just keep her walking a bit as well as giving her company. Fortunately, she adored these two Godly ladies...and my sister and I were free to love on her! I did all of the medical appointments with her, got her pills in their holders, and took her out for lunch twice a week, and on alternate days played Rummy Cube and Skipbo with her. I took her to church on Sunday and usually the whole family in town ate out with her included.

    My sister also took her out for lunch, stopped in and visited with her, and was much more patient with her than I was at times. As I age myself, I find some of the things I would get impatient with her about, are now residing in my own almost 80 year old frame of reference.

    It is a hard time of life to be between your children and your aging parents. I was almost 70 when my Mom died at 96, alert and sharp to the end. My pull was between my grandchildren and Mom. When they visited, I always took them to visit her. I went to their home (an hour away) one day a week and always felt guilty not taking Mom with me, but I felt I needed this precious time with the grandies alone. Now in the grand scheme of things, what difference would it have made if I had taken her with me. (the grandies are now 17 and 18 and are hard to pin down for visits--they are moving on as it should be, busy with school and friends)

    Its been almost 12 years and I miss her daily. She had a final week that was hard, in the hospital...and I think she thought I was responsible for her being there. She looked at me and very pointedly said, "You have become my mother!" which was the truth.

    We do become the parent and its not an easy role, but it is rewarding to see their faces light up when they see us.

    God bless you as you work this out. May your Mom be restored to health and strength

    I've been a lurker and have enjoyed your blog so much, but today had comment since it is a subject so close to my heart--our Momas.

  5. I watched my parents take care of both sets of grandparents. It made such an impression on me. They were always so respectful and loving, with such servants hearts to them, no matter how grumpy or out of sorts my grandparents were. I am sure you will do the same for your own children. I will pray for you as well!

  6. I am not there yet, as my parents are quite young in their 60's. But, I do see changes that are leading in that direction. I agree with how important it is for the grandchildren to be a part of the grandparents' lives and helping them out. My children do the same.
    Many prayers to you and your mom.

  7. Said a prayer for your mom and for your family!

  8. I am praying for your family as well. My own parents are in their 50's but my husband's father is 86 years old. His mom passed away years ago and he is an only child. We are going through the same thing. He is currently in rehab after shoulder surgery. He was confused for a week straight. We would be called every night to come in and calm him down. When he gets discharged to his house (and he lives alone), we will take turns living with him until he gets back on his feet.

    I couldn't even imagine having a child during this time let alone 10. You are truly an inspiration!

  9. Thanks so much for all the prayers, support, comments and suggestions. Portland granny, you had some great words of wisdom. My mom is better and we just moved her yesterday to rehab center where she will be for 2 weeks. This will good because she will get PT, OT and they will continue to monitor her meds and lab work. Things are settling down some, but I feel like I'm still pulled in so many directions. Hope to get back to normal soon. Blessings!

  10. Saying a prayer for your mom and you! How wonderful that you can support each other in many different ways!

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Thanks so much for your comments! I love them and they keep me writing. I really do read each one.